Played pool league tonight and finally got off the snide. Had been shooting great all year but the last two weeks had gone 0-6. Went 2 for 3 tonight.
Had a guy pull right out in front of me in the way to town tonight. Didn't have to lock up the brakes but it was close. It got me to thinking.
I was a young kid, only twelve and working at the ranch. It was my fifth time horseback. I was riding Bookeeper, a pale buckskin. All the times I had been riding before that was just checking on cows. This day we were gathering the Dyer Coulee pasture (from the poem). I didn't know what I was doing. Just trailing some cows and calves into a bunch so Ranch Dad could work them. This calf broke back and Bookeeper was on him trying to turn him to the herd. The calf dove and Bookeeper made a hard turn to put him back. When Bookeeper turned, so did my saddle.
I wasn't quite upside down but his hooves were inches from my face. Honestly. I blew the stirrups and let go of the saddle horn and just tried to get out of the way. I landed in sagebrush and dirt. No cactus. I wasn't scared (I was more scared shooting a tough eight ball tonight, which I made BOOYAH) and didn't know any better. When brother Leo cinched up my saddle, you could hear the air leave Bookeeper's lungs. It was tight. After that, Leo taught me how to cinch my own saddle. He had always done it before then. I was a small kid, but he showed me a trick to get it tight. Not to tight. But tight enough I never had that happen. I ended up being an OK cowboy.
Here's my point. I've been in three car crashes. None of which were my fault but all were violent. No one was hurt in any of them which I'm grateful for in all respects. The thing is this, my Guardian Angel works overtime. He is a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. He's kept me out of the ditch as recently as last weekend when EJ and I were on some icy slopes looking at some property. I stopped on a very gently incline. We were looking at the map as to where we wanted to go and I looked up and we were sliding. I hit the brake and it wasn't working. I had just put my truck into four-wheel drive and something made me take my foot of the brake and punch it. The truck wheeled away from the ditch and we were safe. All the me G.A!! When I go, whoever gets him should be as thankful as I am.
I have a great life.